Development Reality Institute (DRI) is an agile, technology-focused social enterprise whose mission is to identify and empower “digitally blind” communities using digital transformation tools currently confined to industry and commerce. DRI defines “digitally blind” community members as citizens who use digital tools but are oblivious to the economic benefits of using digital tools in commerce and are thus excluded from the digital economy. DRI has adopted the St Peters IoT Makerspace in Mbare with the goal of understanding, through data, “digital blindness” within the target poor peri-urban communities. This is aimed at demonstrating how the IoT Makerspace and its data-centric initiatives influence the alleviation of “digital blindness” which ultimately alleviates poverty.
The adopted Mbare IoT Makerspace has been working on digital infrastructure toeconomically include the target Mbare community into the digital economy through IoT-driven Aquaponics. The IoT infrastructure itself utilizes Machine Learning (ML) in the operations of the Aquaponics units at the unit level using tinyML tools for edge computing as well as at the community level using fog computing. There is need to add the human element by using ML to understand the relationship among extent of “digital blindness” of community members, the automated operations of the infrastructure and economic success arising from Aquaponics cooperative.